Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/24/2021

For parents who need to move a family from Point A to Point B, keeping kids busy can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help you entertain your kids throughout the moving cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three activities that you can use to keep your kids busy on moving day.

1. Packing Last-Minute Items

Last-minute items like clothing and toys will need to get packed up before you can leave your current address. Fortunately, you can rely on your kids for extra help with packing these belongings.

Including your kids in the packing process is a great way to bond with your children. In fact, you and your kids can work together to pack up last-minute belongings and ensure these items quickly and safely reach your new address.

2. Creating a Moving Day Journal

Let's face it Ė moving can be stressful, particularly for kids. However, if you encourage your kids to create a moving day journal, you may be able to help your children alleviate stress.

A moving journal offers a great opportunity for a child to express his or her thoughts about an upcoming move.

Furthermore, a child can use a moving journal to envision what life might be like at his or her new house. This journal can even include drawings that illustrate how a child might decorate his or her new bedroom, lists of ideas about things to do near a new house and much more.

3. Playing Board Games and Car Games

Pack a bag of board games to help your kids pass the time in the car Ė you'll be glad you did. These games are easy to play and will help your children stay entertained for hours.

Memorization games are great for kids and parents alike too. Of course, don't forget about the classic "I spy" game that you can play with your children while you drive to your new address.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you prep for your move, you should not hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent.

A real estate agent is a moving expert who can take the guesswork out of relocating to a new residence. He or she can help you get in touch with local moving companies, offer packing tips and provide fun suggestions so that you can keep your kids busy while traveling.

Perhaps most important, a real estate agent can offer comprehensive assistance as you buy or sell a house. If you need help finding a residence or selling one as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will work with you so that you can achieve your goals. Also, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying or home selling concerns at any time.

Want to get the most out of moving day with your children? Take advantage of the aforementioned moving day activities, and you and your kids can enjoy an unforgettable moving day experience.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/17/2021

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Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito... from Pixabay

Baby Boomers remain the single largest demographic, and their transition into retirement age continues to change the senior living landscape. At more than 74 million strong, this generation will completely cross the retirement age threshold in the next decade, and 52 million Americans are already enjoying their golden years. That being said, the quality of life needs impacting our valued elders are likely to shake up the status quo going forward. These are senior living trends that are expected to unfold in 2020.

1: Location Matters

Today’s health and wellness conscious seniors are living more energetic lifestyles. With that in mind, retirement communities are increasingly being developed in close proximity to robust shopping, dining, and cultural arts facilities. Gated communities that offer amenities such as health and fitness centers, recreational spaces, and public transportation for day trips are enticing places for seniors seeking improved quality of life.

2: Embracing Technology

It wasn’t many years ago that the complexities of emerging technologies limited their usefulness to Baby Boomers and older generations. But innovation has all but eliminated the user unfriendliness of those early desktops and hand-held devices. Seniors are increasingly pleased with Smart-home technologies that are voice operated, such as the friendly Alexa. Beyond controlling lights, televisions, and other home items via voice command, tech gadgets are topping lifestyle wish lists.

3: Fifty-Five & Older Communities Prove Desirable in 2020

The 2019 housing market saw modestly inflated single-family listing prices. That was largely due to low inventory and fierce competition between downsizing Baby Boomers and upstart Millennials. The latter struggled through some economic adversity, such as student loan debt, that caused them to buy starter homes a tad later than previous generations. A log jam between the two groups over smaller homes has developers creating more 55-and-older communities that eliminate competition of younger homebuyers.

4: Aging in Place is a Thing

While some aging parents and grandparents opt to downsize, buy into communities with other seniors, or move into assisted living facilities, many are determined to remain in their family home. The priceless memories of holiday gatherings and children’s first steps are not worth trading. Aging in place continues to trend among independent-minded seniors, and family members may want to consider augmenting this lifestyle rather than try to persuade mom or dad to relocate.

Support systems such as community groups, volunteerism, and having a visiting nurse check-in on parents and grandparents are more likely to enhance the quality of daily living. It may seem logical to children and grandchildren to have your elders come live with you. However, it’s essential to respect their independence.

5: Isolation Issues

It would be something of an understatement to say that our valued elders enjoy an independent spirit. As admirable as that sense of self-determination may be, the loss of a spouse or community members tend to reduce the human interactions our elders have on a daily basis. Isolation can be the downside to independence, and it’s up to friends and family members to maintain the communication channels open.

It’s worthwhile to set up group texts and emails to make sure loved ones consistently visit. Getting involved with pastimes such as going to sporting events and impromptu family get-togethers can go a long way to reduce feelings of isolation.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/10/2021

After a home seller accepts your offer on a home, the next step usually involves a home inspection.

At this point, you'll hire a home inspector who will walk through the home you'd like to buy and offer expert insights into the residence's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you'll be able to assess potential issues with a home and determine whether to move forward with a home purchase.

A home inspection can be stressful, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of home inspections.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after a home inspection is completed, including:

1. What did the home inspection reveal?

A home inspection offers unparalleled insights into a residence. It enables you to look beyond a house's surface and find out whether major repairs will be required both now and in the future.

Hiring an experienced home inspector is paramount for homebuyers. With an experienced home inspector at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than others to identify "hidden" problems within a house.

Also, don't forget to review a home inspection report closely. With this information at your disposal, you'll be able to understand whether a residence meets your expectations.

Be sure to consider the long-term value of a property as well. Remember, a home that you plan to purchase should be able to serve you well for years to come. But if you encounter myriad home issues during a property inspection, you may want to consider rescinding your offer on a residence and restarting your search for the ideal house.

2. Are there major home issues?

As a homebuyer, it is important to be able to identify the differences between major and minor home issues.

For example, if there are tiny cracks and chips in the paint on a kitchen's walls, these issues are minor. In fact, you may be able to repair such issues quickly and effortlessly.

On the other hand, an old, inefficient furnace can cause major headaches. Without a properly functioning furnace, you may struggle to heat your home in winter. Meanwhile, it may cost several thousand dollars to replace this furnace.

If you encounter problems with a residence during a home inspection, consider the costs associated with these issues. By doing so, you'll be able to determine how much you may need to spend to correct such problems and can proceed with a home purchase accordingly.

3. What should I do next?

An informed homebuyer will be equipped with the knowledge and insights needed to make a great decision.

Consider the problems that were discovered during a home inspection. If you can fix home issues without having to commit substantial time and resources to complete various home maintenance projects, you may want to consider moving forward with a home purchase.

If you encounter major home issues, you can always ask a home seller to perform home repairs. Or, you may want to remove your offer on a home altogether.

Working with a real estate agent is ideal, especially for homebuyers who want help with home seller negotiations. With assistance from a real estate agent, you should have no trouble determining how to proceed after a home inspection.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/3/2021

Ready to submit an offer on a house? Not so fast. First, you'll want to consider a few key questions, including:

1. Can I afford to buy a house?

If you find a house you like, make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payments. By doing so, you may be able to avoid costly, time-consuming problems down the line.

Ultimately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a homebuyer who is ready to submit an offer on a home.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will understand exactly how much money is at his or her disposal. As a result, this homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a house.

2. Should I submit a "lowball" offer?

For many homebuyers, it may seem like a good idea to submit a "lowball" offer on a house. But doing so may be problematic for a number of reasons.

If you submit a lowball proposal, a home seller is unlikely to take your bid seriously. As such, this home seller may dismiss your offer and move on to other proposals quickly.

In addition, a lowball offer may cause you to miss out on the opportunity to acquire your dream residence.

When you locate the perfect residence, there is no need to leave anything to chance. If you submit a fair proposal that meets or exceeds a home seller's expectations, you can avoid the risk of losing your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

3. How much should I offer for a residence?

We've already established that a lowball offer is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Now, you'll just need to determine what differentiates a fair proposal from a lowball one.

A fair proposal accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller. It should be based on the current state of the housing market as well as the condition of a home.

For instance, if you're operating in a buyer's market, there is likely to be a broad assortment of homes available. This means a home seller may need to lower his or her expectations due to the sheer volume of quality residences currently on the market.

Don't forget to study the prices of recently sold homes in a particular city or town too. This housing market data will help you better understand how a residence you're considering stacks up against comparable houses so you can submit an appropriate offer.

4. Do I need a real estate agent?

A real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a home, and for good reason. This real estate professional can help you prepare an offer and will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Hire a real estate agent before you submit an offer on a house Ė you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can secure a great house at a price that fits your budget.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/27/2020

Buying is home is a lengthy and, at times, stressful process. So, it can be discouraging when your offer is rejected.

If youíve recently had a purchase offer rejected by the homeowner, donít worry--you have options.

In this post, weíre going to cover some of those options so you can start focusing on your next move and potentially even make a second offer that gets accepted.

1.  Reassess your offer, not the seller

You could spend days guessing the reasons the seller might not have accepted your offer if they didnít give you a straightforward answer.


However, your time is better spent addressing your own offer. Double check the following things:

  • Is your offer significantly lower than the asking price?

  • If so, is it lower than comparable sale prices for homes in the neighborhood?

  • Does your offer contain more than the usual contingencies?

Once youíve reassessed, you can determine if a second offer is appropriate for your situation, or if youíre ready to move onto other prospects with the knowledge youíve gained from this experience in hand.

2. Formulate your second offer

So, youíve decided to make another attempt at the house. Now is the time to discuss details with your spouse and real estate agent.

Out of respect for the sellerís time and their timeline for selling the home, you should treat your second offer as your last.

So, make sure youíre putting your best offer forward. This can mean removing those contingencies mentioned earlier or increasing the amount. However, be realistic about your budget and donít waive contingencies that are necessary (commonly appraisals, inspection, and financing contingencies).

3. Consider including a personal offer letter

In todayís competitive market, many sellers are fielding multiple offers on their home. To set yourself apart from the competitors and to help the seller get to know your goals and reasoning better, a personal letter is often a great tool.

Donít be afraid to give details in your offer letter. Explain what excites you about the house, why it is ideal for your family, and what your plans are for living there.

What shouldnít you include in your offer letter? Avoid statements that try to evoke pity or guilt from the seller. This seldom works and will put-off most buyers to your offer.

4. Moving on is good time management

If you arenít comfortable increasing your offer or if you receive a second rejection, itís typically a good idea to move onto other prospects. It may seem like wasted time--however, just like a job interview that didnít go as planned, itís an excellent learning experience.

Youíll walk away knowing more about the negotiation process, dealing with sellers and agents, and you might even find a home thatís better than the first one in the process!




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